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With Recession, House Less of a Prize in Divorce Settlement

November 21, 2011 | Posted In Resources - Family Law

For a long time, a primary goal for many New Jersey divorce lawyers was to try to help their client keep the marital home.   Retaining the house was considered important because houses were good investments and likely to have increased in value over the years. Today, however, it's a different story.   The marital home is quickly becoming less of a prize and more of a burden in a divorce settlement. 

This change in attitude toward the marital home's role in a divorce settlement can be blamed on plummeting house prices and a rising number of foreclosures.  Consider a divorce situation in 2011.  The person who ends up with the house may end up stuck with an asset that is rapidly declining in value.  There may be mortgage payments to make, and, in many cases, a spouse may not be in a position to make these payments on his or her own. 

Another possible reason the marital home has become an undesirable assets is that maintaining a house in this economy seems harder than it used to.  There are likely property taxes to pay and maintenance expenses to meet, all of which may seem even especially burdensome given the current instability of the employment market.

Based on these factors, New Jersey divorce lawyers today often recommend a sale of the house and division of the proceeds between the spouses.  Unfortunately, in a bad housing market, selling the house may not be an easy or convenient way out either.  In a situation like this, your lawyer may have to work judiciously to protect your interests, both in the current financial climate and for the long-term.

The New Jersey family lawyers at Helmer Paul Conley and Kasselman represent persons in divorce, child custody, child support, domestic violence and other family law-related matters across New Jersey.

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Helmer, Conley & Kasselman, P.A.

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